BLOGGING and the sin of COPY and PASTE

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

Democracy avail citizens the right to free expression as evidently posited by the constitution. This right in its totality is a fulcrum for the sustainability of democracy and its features. As unrestricted and proliferated as the choice to expression so also is it to excesses of same if not regulated. In modern day Tanzania expression is gradually going electronic and growing electronically. The presence of our expressions largely occupies the internet described by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka as the accommodating madrassa – in tandem with global embrace of the internet. This cordiality with emerging cyber trends is salient in the myriad membership participation of Tanzanians in social forums like facebook, twitter, instagram and so on. However in recent “cyber” times more and many Tanzanians make inroads into blogging – proliferating same with a viral velocity hanging it on their “rightful” right to expression. As proliferated and unregulated as the business of blogging is in Tanzania, it is it culture of flagrant plagiarism that poses a threat to freedom of rights. According to wikipedia, Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “purloining and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work”.

In elementary english, plagiarism is an abuse of intellectual right, a theft of individual right and a rape on ownership of literary expressions. Tanzanian bloggers gladly copy paste informations on the net – word for word and punctuation for punctuation indulging in what Roman poet, Martial refers to as literary kidnap.

Although not a criminal act but that which bothers on literary morals, this copy and paste culture not only constitute an abuse of intellectual right it largely contribute it unhealthy quota to the production of half-truths, quark journalists, journalistic dishonesty, and unethical journalism. This celebration of unethical practice in cyber journalism is a colossal concern for the minds that creates. Although common sense and public acceptance can be a barometer for sifting which blog is a commonplace – nothing like the moral regulation of plagiarism in cyber-blogging will help the growth of cyber-journalism in Tanzania. These endemic theft of literary expression is suffered daily by frontline blogs and websites – daily they swim to safety shores least they drown in the sea of lazy and slumbering inks. This rapid surge in plagiarism has produce many tom, dick and blogs – littering the literary cyber space with blogs who ordinarily should be a residence of the trash can. These blogs crowd the internet purloining ideas doing daily disservice to journalistic best practice.

I remain Noor


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